JJ Rawlings: dies at 73

Former president of Ghana John Jerry Rawlings is dead. He died today of Covid-19 complications. He was 73 years old.

Rawlings, who had a Scottish father was born 22 June 1947.

According to Ghana’s Graphic newspaper, Rawlings died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra.

He was admitted by the hospital a week ago.

He fell ill after his mother’s burial about three weeks ago.

As a former Ghanaian military leader and later a politician, Rawlings led a military junta from 1981 until 1992.

He then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana from January 7, 1993 till January 6, 2001.

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He initially came to power as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979.

Prior to that, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government on May 15, 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place.

After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on December 31, 1981 as the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

In 1992, he resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first President of the 4th Republic.

He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.